As part of Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy, the final amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) ľ Nutrition Labelling, Other Labelling Provisions and Food Colours were published in Canada Gazette, Part II on December 14, 2016. See food labelling changes for more information.
The legislative authorities obtained through the Jobs, Growth, and Long-term Prosperity Act of 2012, have provided Health Canada with the ability to make more timely updates to scientific information. This is accomplished by moving some information from regulatory text into documents that are incorporated by reference into the FDR. These may be updated administratively by the Minister.
In this case, the three documents incorporated by reference are:
Health Canada will keep stakeholders advised of potential changes to these incorporated documents through consultation and notification processes.
While it is Health Canada that develops the nutrition labelling regulations, it is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that is responsible for the enforcement of the regulations. With respect to the new regulations published on December 14, 2016, a five year transition period has been established for industry to meet the new requirements. Companies may apply either the former regulations or the new regulations during this time.
During this transition period, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will update its web guidance and tools to reflect the requirements under the new regulations, while maintaining guidance and tools that reflect the requirements under the former regulations.
Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency share the responsibility for answering inquiries on the new Regulations. Questions on the new requirements and their intent can be submitted to Health Canada, while those dealing with compliance and enforcement activities can be submitted to local Canadian Food Inspection Agency offices. á
To help label designers and the food and packaging industry meet the format specifications of the regulations, Health Canada has created the Compendium of Templates: Nutrition Facts Tables and List of Ingredients. The templates are the actual-size graphic illustrations for various Nutrition Facts table formats permitted by the FDR. For the list of ingredients, there are many variations that could meet the graphic specifications set out in the FDR.á Some examples have been provided within the Compendium to demonstrate acceptable variations.
Health Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, has prepared the Guide to Developing Accurate Nutrient Values to assist the food industry, private laboratories, academia, health professionals and government agencies in developing accurate nutrient values for a variety of purposes, including nutrition labelling.
A number of laboratory methods have been developed by Health Canada for nutrient content analysis.
Those interested in nutrition policy and regulations should join the NUTSCI mailing list.